Oct 11, 2012 8:00 PM
TUCSON - Two political newcomers are battling for Arizona's District Two seat in Congress: Democrat Ron Barber and Republican Martha McSally.
Barber is Gabrielle Giffords' former district director, and he recently won a special election to replace his former boss for the remainder of her term, which ends in January. Barber also spent 30 years working in Developmental Disabilities at the Department of Economic Security.
McSally is a retired fighter pilot, a former professor, and she served as a National Security Advisor for U.S. SenatorJon Kyl.
Both say the economy and jobs are priorities and small businesses should be the focus. "Seventy percent of our economy is based on small businesses; we have to make sure they are treated well and supported in our policies. Reducing any tax burdens that you might have and removing legislation, or regulation I should say, that would keep them from expanding," Barber said.
McSally believes if Congress does more to empower small businesses more jobs will be created in Southern Arizona. "I'm talking manufacturing jobs, defense and aerospace jobs, biotech jobs, and small businesses just expanding so they can increase their payroll and put people back to work to take care of their families," said McSally.
Both candidates believe we need a national energy plan, and both agree that will put more people back to work and boost the economy. But Barber and McSally have different ideas on how to power that a national energy plan.
Barber believes renewable energy will power us into the future. "Solar, wind, geo-thermal anything that we can find that will bring energy to American homeowners and businesses that doesn't rely on imported oil and other sources of energy from foreign countries that may often be hostile to us," said Barber.
McSally won't deny that renewable energy is the goal, but now it's not effective or affordable. "We're going to be dependent on fossil fuels for a pretty long time still. So we need to make sure that we're using the resources that we've been given as a nation while we're allowing those other ones to develop and to have a good, diversified portfolio of how we're going to meet our energy needs," McSally said.
With the recent death of Border Patrol Agent Nicholas Ivie, border security is also a major concern for both Barber and Mcsally. They both say we need more manpower and more technology on the border to keep Arizonans safe.